FSC International – Forests for All Forever

Facts & Figures

195,726,092 ha certified
33,229 CoC certificates
1,507 FM/CoC certificates

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The 10 rules for responsible forest management


Before a forest owner or manager can certify their forest, they must meet the ten FSC principles for responsible forest management. These rules apply to all forest types and are in place to ensure environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable forest management. The FSC 10 principles are below.

Principle 1:

The Organization shall comply with all applicable laws, regulations and nationally-ratified international treaties, conventions and agreements.

Principle 2:

The Organization shall maintain or enhance the social and economic wellbeing of workers.

Principle 3:

The Organization shall identify and uphold Indigenous Peoples’ legal and customary rights of ownership, use and management of land, territories and resources affected by management activities.

Principle 4:

The Organization shall contribute to maintaining or enhancing the social and economic wellbeing of local communities.

Principle 5:

The Organization shall efficiently manage the range of multiple products and services of the Management Unit to maintain or enhance long term economic viability and the range of environmental and social benefits.

Principle 6:

The Organization shall maintain, conserve and/or restore ecosystem services and environmental values of the Management Unit, and shall avoid, repair or mitigate negative environmental impacts.

Principle 7:

The Organization shall have a management plan consistent with its policies and objectives and proportionate to scale, intensity and risks of its management activities. The management plan shall be implemented and kept up to date based on monitoring information in order to promote adaptive management. The associated planning and procedural documentation shall be sufficient to guide staff, inform affected stakeholders and interested stakeholders and to justify management decisions.

Principle 8:

The Organization shall demonstrate that, progress towards achieving the management objectives, the impacts of management activities and the condition of the Management Unit, are monitored and evaluated proportionate to the scale, intensity and risk of management activities, in order to implement adaptive management.

Principle 9:

The Organization shall maintain and/or enhance the High Conservation Values in the Management Unit through applying the precautionary approach.

Principle 10:

Management activities conducted by or for The Organization for the Management Unit shall be selected and implemented consistent with The Organization’s economic, environmental and social policies and objectives and in compliance with the Principles and Criteria collectively.